Dated by Stefes (op. cit.) to circa 1657-58, this is one of several drawings by Berchem with similar hunting themes. It is related to the painting of A stag hunt in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (H. Potterton, Illustrated Summary Catalogue of Paintings, Dublin, 1981, p. 10; Fig. 1), although it is not so close as to be precisely preparatory. There is a group of comparable drawings in the British Museum, two of which are executed in the same crisp black chalk technique as the present work: the first shows further episodes from a deer hunt (A.M. Hind, Catalogue of Dutch and Flemish Drawings preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, London, 1915, I, no. 27), while the second represents A boar hunt (Hind, op. cit., no. 28). The composition of the latter was used, in reverse, in a painting by Berchem now in the Mauritshuis, The Hague (1659; inv. 12).
The present drawing is striking first for its Italianate quality and also for its remarkable dynamism. The figures, especially those of the dogs, are represented in a variety of poses, often with a daring degree of foreshortening, and the composition's sense of three-dimensionality is reinforced with darker strokes of chalk in the foreground, which grow lighter and lighter as the perspective recedes into the background.